Safety Tips in United States of America

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Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in United States of America

  • melosh's Profile Photo

    Internet Cafes as gambling fronts 2012

    by melosh Updated Feb 21, 2015

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    The availability of "internet cafes" where you would go to connect to the internet never really developed in the USA. Initially it was probably the widespread availability of land phone lines and the relatively low cost of a private connection that meant the people did not have to go out of the house to connect. And there are public places like libraries that offer some access. With the widening spread of wireless access, it did not look like "internet cafes" would ever happen.

    Then suddenly in 2002 "internet cafes" springing up all over Florida and in many other states? Although there may be a sign saying that internet access, cash checking and fax service are available, when you looked inside the place it looked like an electronic Las Vegas gambling room. Until 2014 in Florida these places were able to skirt the anti-gambling laws and regulations. They seem to be proving that rich or poor Americans love to gamble. Even a poor economy did stopped this from becoming a booming business. I do not know how it is in other states, but in general
    foreign visitors should not be fooled in the USA a "internet cafe" may not be what you expect.

    The good thing is that free Wifi is now widely available.

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  • akkipaa's Profile Photo

    Watch your steps and keep eyes open

    by akkipaa Updated Dec 23, 2014

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    I don't know the name of this system, we don't have those. My friend didn't know either when she drove route 66 summer 2010 (two flat tires). I knew these exist but I didn't meet them on Route 66 but just after we came to Santa Monica. I decided to take a swim in the Ocean and took my clothes off, swimming suit on and I run to the sea. I was jumping around, took a shortcut through parking area and didn't look ahead (funny, I never watch my legs when running). Bulls eye, my right foot just in the middle of two teeth causing only blood and tears but no broken bones.

    No pedestrians! Yes, thank you, I know that I made a mistake, or two, I used left track and didn't read the warning (I read it, but in a full running speed of 10 mph my translation and aware time was longer than it took to catch the hooks).

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  • briantravelman's Profile Photo

    Photographing Wilderness Areas Is Now A Crime

    by briantravelman Updated Sep 26, 2014

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    I just found out about a new law imposed by the U.S. Forest Service, that is said to go into effect, some time in December, 2014.
    The law will prohibit the publishing of any photo or video, taken in one of the country's 439 federal wilderness areas, located within national forests, that contain people, props, or anything that is not part of the natural setting, which I guess includes hiking trails. Even a blurry photo, or shaky video, will get you a $1,000 fine. I don't know if it includes talking, or background music in the video, but I would not risk it.
    You are allowed to take those sorts of photos and videos, for personal use ONLY, but you cannot publish them, or you will be fined, $1,000. You can acquire a commercial photography permit, for $800.
    Right now, this law only applies to Wilderness Areas, which are listed in the link below.

    National and State Parks, are fine...for now.

    When hiking, it's not always easy to tell whether or not you've entered a wilderness area, so bring a damn good map.
    I have no idea if this law will last, or how it is even legal, but photography will never be the same.
    Welcome to USA, The Land of the Free.
    There is a link in the article, that you can click on, and post a complaint.

    Gem Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness
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  • DAO's Profile Photo


    by DAO Updated Aug 16, 2014

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    Make sure you do not get a fine for having an AK-47 under your coat! Seriously. Why pay a fine that is more than the purchase price of your new ‘street sweeper’ self-defence apparatus? Gun laws vary by STATE AS A MINIMUM. You can also have local laws within say a town. If you cross a border between 2 states – you are governed by FEDERAL law. So for example if you fly into Alaska – you are in a safe state for guns and fun. You can buy an AK-47 (modified – no automatic) without a permit, without any pesky ownership documents to trace you by and stick it under your long coat and go shopping at Walmart. Cool. Wal-Mart sells guns so they may look at you mildly funny.

    Now if you take your new assault rifle to California (non-adjacent – work with me) you will get a fine of up to $12,000 for putting it under your coat. UNLESS you have a concealed gun permit. Then it’s back to mildly funny looks at Walmart again.

    If you want to buy a house in Kennesaw, Georgia you had better buy that gun first Buster! Homeowners are REQUIRED BY LAW to own a gun. So if you put down an offer on a house - have the real estate agent take you straight to the gun store. If you complete the transaction without a gun you have broken the law! As they say “It’s the Law in Kennesaw”.

    Now there is the transport of guns across State Boundaries. If you break Federal Law – lots of Federal laws – you could become a ‘Felon’. This entails – as a minimum – loss of voting privileges for LIFE. If you are a tourist you probably will not care. What you will care about is 2 huge differences between state laws and Federal laws:
    1) Federal sentences tend to be longer
    2) There is no parole/time-off. 10 years is 10 years.

    Then there are state laws on top. Let’s just say that if you commit a crime and flee with a gun over State lines they will hand you over to the Federal authorities. They know you will rot in a cell for a lot longer.

    Go into 1 of 15 states and your ‘permit’ makes you an illegal gun owner.

    And the best? The airport in Greensboro NC (Pictured). You MUST display your gun (holster preferred) when you take a gun into the airport!

    The message? If you want to buy/rent/use a gun on holiday – do your homework 1st!

    Related to:
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  • briantravelman's Profile Photo

    Traveling In Indian Reservations

    by briantravelman Updated May 11, 2014

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    I don't have a problem with Native Americans, but Native Americans have a problem with tourists.
    I have traveled through Indian reservations, and attended Indian Pow Wows, and it's a real pain in the butt.
    The only place they were nice, was in the Navajo Reservation, everywhere else, they do not like tourists.

    I attended an Indian Pow Wow in my town, and half the show consisted of being told how evil white people are, and being told that we cannot film, or take pictures.
    In New Mexico, there is this famous "Pueblo In The Sky". You have to pay to take pictures, and pictures are only allowed in certain areas, and you cannot photograph people. I understand the people part, but you cannot use video cameras, audio recording devices, or even look at the pueblo with binoculars. Really? You are not even allowed to videotape the desert scenery on the reservation.
    Other reservations, you have to pay or ask permission to take photographs, or videos.
    In Taos pueblo, an Indian woman tried to sell us bad cookies for $5, and got angry when we refused to buy some.
    In Monument Valley, my mom bought something for $3, she gave the Indian lady a 20, and she tried to keep it.
    In Nevada, our car broke down, and we went into this store, and my dad asked this Indian there if the works there, and he said, "When I feel like it. Why, do you need something?" He didn't even want to get up to assist us.
    Than also in Nevada, an Indian cop stopped my dad for speeding, and was being all cocky about it, and giving his friend a thumbs up.

    I am not saying all Indians are like this. In the tourist areas like 4 Corners, and Canyon de Chelly, they are very friendly, but in the less touristy areas, they are very rude.
    I understand if they do not like tourists, but they should try to be a little more friendly towards them. They are giving themselves, such a bad reputation. It is a shame, because they have a really amazing culture.

    I will not suggest avoiding Indian reservations, as a lot of attractions are on Indian reservations, and visiting a traditional Indian pueblo, is quite an interesting experience, just be prepared that you may not be treated very nice, and you may not be able to photograph, or video tape certain areas.

    Again, it really depends on the tribe. Most of the Navajo we met have been really friendly. The Nk'Mip, in British Columbia, were also very friendly.
    Just be prepared that most of them, are not very open. Something like that, can really ruin your holiday.

    There are a lot of culture shows though, and areas, that are specifically meant for tourists, so they are more relaxed.

    Navajo Indian Reservation
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  • briantravelman's Profile Photo

    Greyhound Travel

    by briantravelman Written Dec 18, 2013

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    Greyhound may be cheap, but it is not a good way to travel.
    I traveled by greyhound a few times when I was little, and will never do it again. A journey that should've taken no more than 1.5 days, took almost 3, and a journey that should've taken 2 hours, took the whole day. We took a bus from Temecula to Palm Springs, and the next bus wasn’t leaving ‘til the morning, so we had to take a taxi back, which wasn’t cheap.
    You have to switch buses too many times, and a lot of the stations are in bad neighborhoods.
    We were woken up, and kicked off in a bad part of Vegas at 4 AM in the morning, because they had to "clean the bus."
    I am never traveling by greyhound again.

    Even worse, is that there are a lot of creeps that ride those things.
    My cousin took a greyhound from Canada to come visit me in California. He said, some sex offender in prison slippers got on in Portland, and he kept looking at this young girl, and masturbating, right there on a bus. People finally had enough, and complained to the driver, who called the police. The guy was arrested in California. He also said he will never travel by greyhound again.

    Trust me, greyhound is NOT a good way to travel. I know if you don't have a car, it is really the only option. If you're traveling as a tourist, unless you're traveling to some off the beaten path place, you can book an organized bus trip with a licensed tour company, and you will be on a normal bus, with normal people.

    I would only use greyhound as an absolute last resort.

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  • RoscoeGregg's Profile Photo

    Water, Food & Something Warm

    by RoscoeGregg Written Apr 7, 2013

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    The United States IS HUGE. The distances are long and (especially in the western U.S.) you will be miles from ANY services. It will be up to you to take care of your needs.

    I strongly recommend that if you travel by car that you put together a little emergency kit.. It does not need to be expensive or elaborate. A little preparation and fore thought can turn what would be a life threatening situation into an adventure.

    Here is a list of things I feel every over the road traveler should have in their car.
    1. Water a gallon for each person is not excessive
    2. Food enough for a couple of days. Things like cliff bars and dried soups. Things that store well.
    3. A blanket and a little extra warm clothes.
    4. A small first aid kit

    Chances are that you will never need these things but it is foolish to drive through the desert, over the mountains or across the great plains without some preparation.

    This seems overly cautious and your friends might make fun of you (like my father in law did till our water pump crapped out in the desert of Nevada). Trust me, it does seem ridiculous until you are standing beside a disabled vehicle in the dark miles from anywhere. Cell phone coverage is not universal in the American West.

    You can throw this stuff together for just a few bucks in almost any discount store or grocery. So take a few minutes and relax and enjoy your American Road Trip.

    This is a wild and wooly country in some places It is very satisfying to be prepared
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  • RoscoeGregg's Profile Photo

    Watch Your Speed

    by RoscoeGregg Updated Apr 7, 2013

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    I am not sure if this should be a transportation tip but here goes. The speed limits in the States are pretty reasonable and it is a good idea to keep an eye on them. The severity of the fines has risen drastically in the last 10 or so years. I often have friends that receive citations in excess of $150 and some over $200. 10 years ago the same infraction would have been$50.00.

    If you keep your speed less than 5 miles an hour over the posted limit American peace officers will let you slide by but anything over 5mph beyond the posted speed and they will stop you.

    We do not deploy speed cameras (like in Europe). If you get caught it will be by radar or lazer operated by an officer. While this will give you the chance to meet one of our dedicated members of law enforcement it will be expensive. It is much more fun and cost effective to buy the officer a cup of coffee in the local diner

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  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    The National Emergency Number!

    by lmkluque Updated Nov 11, 2012

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    The first time I saw the headlines in the paper, "9 11 01" I thought it clever. The terrorist attacts were the ultimate in Emergencies. However, when I realized that the 9-11 stood for September 11th, I thought it ironic that the attacks happened on the day that would fit into our National Emergency phone number.

    All that to say that while in the U.S.A., at any time you encounter a serious emergency, simply dial 911. You can be fined for using this number for frivolous reasons, but your reason does not need to be something as tragic as planes crashing into buildings, although that would qualify.

    The 911 Emergency System makes it simple to get help and the number works in all cities, in all counties and in all states.

    Hopefully you won't need to use the number, but knowing about it is useful.

    Calling for Help!
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  • melosh's Profile Photo

    You need money

    by melosh Updated Feb 3, 2012

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    Although credit cards are the most convenient money tool for travel in the US and can be used for most purchases, what happens if your card stops working or you lose it. There is a danger that you could find yourself in America with no money. Of course, you can have money wired to you from home, but this takes time.

    Carrying a large amount of cash is never a good idea. Here is where traveler's checks in US dollar denominations could be very useful. There is no charge or commission at time of use, and you can use them in most places in the USA as cash that requires an ID [identification] and signature. If lost, the companies promise immediate replacement. Your only pre-trip concern might be what your up front cost may be in terms of conversion to dollars and the traveler's check purchase fee. This fee can be as much as 4 percent. At least, this is what my bank told me that they would be charging me if I did not qualify for free checks. It used to be 1 percent. For comparison, many visa cards charge 3 percent for foreign exchange plus something for ATM use.
    In recent years travelers checks have fallen out of common use. Still businesses that accept personal checks are happy to accept travelers checks and understand that they are "good as cash", and in fact many that do not accept personal checks will still accept travelers checks. In my small non-touristic Florida town I often pay with unused traveler's checks. The slight inconvenience I have encountered is that many of the younger clerks feel that they have to call their manager for help because they lack experience or do not know the store policy. With one exception, the store had no problem accepting the checks. In the exception, the manager did not seem to know what a traveler's check was.

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  • MichaelFalk1969's Profile Photo

    Deer on the road !

    by MichaelFalk1969 Updated Dec 1, 2011

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    The USA have outdoor TV channels with tips for hunters how to best shoot trophy deer, but it would probably much easier to just run them over with your car. Deer don`t seem to value their life much, and especially during dusk or dawn they frequently cross the road. I had two near-collisions and would recommend NOT to drive during the night as the risk to bump into a deer is very high. Do yourself and Bambi a favour.

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  • RoscoeGregg's Profile Photo

    The Geography of Nowhere

    by RoscoeGregg Written Jun 19, 2011

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    There is a trap in all the states of America that it is best to try to avoid. It will require that you make an effort to look for places that have character. In large cities and increasingly in small towns along the interstate you will find the faceless and boring.

    You could wake up in the parking lot of these fake places and be unable to determine where in the U.S you are because they are all the same. They contain the same national stores and restaurants that are found in almost every city in the U.S.

    So if you want to see the real America you must look for the local and Main street businesses. You will be rewarded with a much more authentic experience.

    You will find this especially true in the western states that are crisscrossed with limited access highways.

    It seems this is as creative as many of us can be This Could Be Anywhere In America Avoid the Freeway Trap It Is Easy But Boring On the side roads is the interesting America So Slow Down And Catch The Sunset
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  • hunterV's Profile Photo

    Some Common Tips

    by hunterV Updated May 29, 2011

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    These tips do not only concern your stay in the US.
    They are simply common sense tips for traveling abroad:
    **Do not leave your bags unattended in public places, even if you are only walking away from them for a few minutes.
    ** Do not carry large amounts of cash or store money in your apartment or room. Better open a bank account where your money will be protected.
    ** Lock your door upon leaving your apartment or hotel room, even if only for a short period of time.
    ** Do not carry your passport everywhere. Make a photocopy of your important documents and carry them instead of the originals.
    ** Be aware of your surroundings. If you want to visit a new neighborhood, try to go during the day at first. Look at the map before you leave and note the nearest metro station and bus routes. Walk at your own pace, but look alert and purposeful.
    ** If a stranger does try to steal your bag, do not fight him or her. A few belongings are not worth risking serious injury.

    Students' dormitory where we stayed, De Pere, WI Welcome to the US! Los Banditos restaurant, Green Bay, WI Gadsby, Tavern, Alexandria, VA My host family and I, Perkin's restaurant, WI
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  • penpoison's Profile Photo

    Change in Passport requirements

    by penpoison Updated Apr 4, 2011

    New Requirements for Travelers Between the United States and the Western Hemisphere

    Travelers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada will be required to have a passport or other secure, accepted document to enter or re-enter the United States. This is a change from prior travel requirements and will affect all United States citizens entering the United States from countries within the Western Hemisphere who do not currently possess valid passports. This new requirement will also affect certain foreign nationals who currently are not required to present a passport to travel to the United States. Most Canadian citizens, citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda, and to a lesser degree, Mexican citizens will be affected by the implementation of this requirement.

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  • AliJoe's Profile Photo

    Wrong Site Of The Road

    by AliJoe Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Hey KAMAL, always remember riding
    at the 'Wrong' site of the road. This is USA, if you riding at 'right' site just like at home (Malaysia)...
    you kaaaput KAMAL !!

    Irene, you lead the way !! I'm not chicken but scared...all of the sudden I'm taking
    a 'right' site of curves, to fast to see the Heaven, Irene !! Never mind, I will become a follower !!

    Dual Mode Bike
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Comments (1)

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Oct 2, 2014 at 5:48 AM

    Regarding the review by Briantravelman regarding photography:

    This review isn't exactly accurate. Please reference this statement from the USFS:

    Specifically this paragraph:
    "The proposal does not change the rules for visitors or recreational photographers. Generally, professional and amateur photographers will not need a permit unless they use models, actors or props; work in areas where the public is generally not allowed; or cause additional administrative costs."

    Similar restrictions have already been in place for some time, and this is not an unreasonable expansion of those considering the amount of damage and disruption that professional film/photography crews can - and have - caused in fragile environments.

    The issue is that some of the language in proposed directive was seen as nebulous, and some inaccurate conclusions were made by the press. Work is underway by the FS to clear up any confusion. So don't panic: take those vacations photos! Hope this helps!

    • leics's Profile Photo
      Oct 3, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      Thank you, Kimberly. I think it is vitally important that travel guide tips are as factually accurate as possible and I know VT takes that view as well.

    • goodfish's Profile Photo
      Oct 3, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      Thanks, Ladies. We don't want a bunch of nervous tourists afraid to post their beautiful shots here on VT now, would we?

United States of America Warnings and Dangers

Usctwin's Profile Photo

There is information flotating around that photography at the National Parks in the US is no longer allowed.  That information is incorrect. 

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